Disneynature Exhibit at D23 EXPO 2015 Highlights Work at Tchimpounga Sanctuary


Each year since 2009, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club has gathered Disney enthusiasts to experience, “all the magic and excitement of the past, present, and future of Disney entertainment at the Anaheim Convention Center. This year at D23, a Disneynature exhibit highlights the impacts of their support to wildlife conservation around the globe and their efforts to draw the attention of families everywhere to the wonders of nature and the importance of protecting it.

In 2012, with the release of Disneynature’s Chimpanzee, movie-goers had the chance to meet two groups of chimpanzees, including little Oscar and learn about his adventures in the forest with his family. A portion of every ticket sold was donated to the Jane Goodall Institute to support the chimpanzees of the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo as well as our efforts to protect forest habitats and raise awareness about the importance of protecting great apes.

At the D23 EXPO, images of some of JGI’s efforts appear with information about what we’ve achieved since the launch of Chimpanzee. Just a handful of of these achievements include:

  • Begin relocating some of the more than 150 chimpanzees at the Tchimpounga sanctuary to three pristine islands in the Kouilou river where they can enjoy a more natural environment while continuing to receive care from JGI’s caregivers and staff.
  • Create a management plan for the Tchimpounga Nature Reserve in which the Tchimpounga sanctuary is located. This plan is helping JGI prioritize and plan for the protection of the reserves habitats.
  • Install public awareness billboards across the Republic of Congo inspiring pride in communities for their natural heritage with chimpanzees and gorillas, and on the other side, showing them the consequences of being caught with a great ape.
  • Provided training to more than 100 teachers in 50 schools year Pointe Noire (close to where the Tchimpounga sanctuary is locataed) in environmental education so they can infuse their regular curriculum with information that will help their students understand the importance of protecting the environment.

Since the release of Chimpanzee, Dr. Goodall has remained a Disneynature conservation ambassador getting audiences excited about Disneynature Bears and Monkey Island.


About Author

Shawn Sweeney is a senior director of community engagement at the Jane Goodall Institute and works to create connections among the organizations staff, constituents, supporters and the wider world. Shawn has been involved with the Jane Goodall Institute since 2004 when as a college student he led a group of fellow students in Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots at the College of Wooster. Shawn has a masters of education in humane education and has been working in service learning and communications with the Jane Goodall Institute since 2007 when he joined the staff.